Rebecca Elizabeth Mewha Shinaberry passed away on Friday afternoon, April 25, 2014, due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
She was the daughter of Dana and Pearl Mewha, had two younger brothers, Lloyd Mewha and Robert Dana Mewha. and was born in Wellsburg, WV, on May 6, 1929.
She graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 1950 with a degree in education and spent her professional career teaching elementary school. She taught at Thomas Brook, Va., and locally in Midland and South Side school district in Hookstown. She also earned a master’s degree in psychology from University of Pittsburgh.
Becky loved children and focused her energy on them for her entire life. When her own children were small, she was an active Brownie and Girl Scout Leader for many years.
In addition, she and her husband were foster parents for 23 infants and two teenagers over a 10-year period so that these children would have a better start in life. Several continued the relationship after adoption and were folded into the family.
Becky also believed in the transformative power of education and, along with her husband, founded the Gay and Becky Scholarship Fund to provide tuition to young high school women who would otherwise be unable to continue their education. To date, this foundation has assisted 15 young women in completing college and gave them the ability to make major change in their life.
In addition to the educational endeavors, Becky was a founding member of Contact Beaver County, a hotline assistance program providing advice and support for individuals of all ages encountering significant problems. She helped organize the program, recruited staff, and provided phone line and administrative support for many years. She also was an active church member throughout her life, first at Raccoon Presbyterian Church, then Hanover Presbyterian Church and, most recently, at Vanport Presbyterian Church.
Becky had a great sense of adventure and loved to try new things. From family vacations at Virginia Beach to trips to Europe and Russia, she was always an enthusiastic planner for the next project.
Becky leaves many friends and relatives to remember her fondly. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Attlee Gay Shinaberry, her brother, Lloyd Mewha, and her three daughters, Roberta Gay Shinaberry, whose husband Michael McKain is deceased, Beth Marie Buck and her husband, William Buck and Cheryl Lewis, whose husband Michael Lewis is deceased. Roberta lives in New Mexico, Beth resides in Maryland, and Cheryl lives in Virginia.
Friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in the Noll Funeral Home, Inc, 333 Third St., Beaver. A funeral service will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Vanport Presbyterian Church by her pastor, Reverend David D. Byers. Interment will take place the following day the Franklin Cemetery, Wellsburg, WV.
Online condolences may be shared at nollfuneral. com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association for research (ALZ.org) or the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, 5324 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224 (chomepgh.org)